THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Now, the cash-strapped KSRTC which is labouring to pay the pension liabilities seems to have company - the state-run KSEB is plagued by the same problem. N S Pillai, the KSEB’s newly-appointed CMD, said in a letter to the trade unions the board is facing various technical and financial challenges. As per the statutory audit report for 2016-17, the net loss of the power company stood at `1,877 crore. The situation is such the KSEB has not been able to remit its share to the Master Pension and Gratuity Trust, says the letter. The letter goes on to request the support of the trade unions for bailing out the KSEB.
Until now, the KSEB has not defaulted on the pension payments which runs into more than `800 crore a year. The KSEB has been meeting this commitment from its revenue, a practice frowned upon by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission(KSERC). Though a pension trust had been formed when the KSEB was transformed into a company, the KSEB has been unable to make any payments to it. At the time of forming the Master Pension and Gratuity Trust, the potential liability was pegged at `12,419 crore.
Of this, the KSEB’s share was `8,144 crore with the government contributing the remaining amount. The government’s share was to be adjusted against the electricity duty due to the government from the KSEB.
The full contribution to the fund need only be made in 15-20 years. As per the 2016-17 figures, the pension liability had gone up to `16,417 crore.